Indiana, Ohio, and Minnesota have become the latest states to mandate face coverings when in public settings, in efforts to curb the spread of the CCP virus.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, said he will sign an executive order on Thursday to require state residents older than eight years old to wear masks inside and outside when they cannot social distance, starting Monday. Masks are also strongly recommended for children who are two to seven years old.
We know you’re probably tired of hearing it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
It’s time to #MaskUpHoosiers.
The statewide mask mandate goes into effect on Monday.
Visit https://t.co/T741dQaJv1 for more info. pic.twitter.com/9pbwkcGcpr
— Indiana State Department of Health (@StateHealthIN) July 22, 2020
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that those who are 10 years or older in the state must wear a mask when in public settings starting Thursday, 6 p.m. local time. The mask mandate also applies to people taking or operating public transportation or a ride-sharing vehicle.
This order only requires those who are 10 years old or older to wear a mask. In addition, the following do not need to wear a mask: pic.twitter.com/xv9CX8itYi
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) July 22, 2020
DeWine, a Republican, also announced a travel advisory, where people coming into Ohio from states that have reported positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15 percent or higher will be recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said people will need to wear masks in indoor businesses and at other public settings starting on Saturday, as outlined in his executive order (pdf).
“Right now the best way to demonstrate those Minnesota values is by wearing a mask to protect our neighbors, keep businesses open, and get us back to the activities we love,” Walz, a Democrat, announced on Twitter.
The Minnesota Department of Health reiterated the message, saying on Twitter: “Wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart can help prevent you from spreading your germs to others.” The department also posted an update to clarify mask requirements on its website.
Help stop the spread! You may have #COVID19 without showing any symptoms. Wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart can help prevent you from spreading your germs to others. #MaskUpMN https://t.co/wWcb6wDWQT pic.twitter.com/WX1W7ZMDxY
— mnhealth (@mnhealth) July 22, 2020
More than half of U.S. states now mandate masks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had in April recommended that Americans wear face coverings in public settings. The recommendation came after new evidence showed that people who had COVID-19—the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus—had the potential to spread the virus before showing any symptoms.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Americans to wear protective masks.
“America’s youth will act responsibly, and we’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask,” Trump said. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact. They’ll have an effect. And we need everything we can get.”
He added later that the administration is “asking Americans to use masks, socially distance, and employ vigorous hygiene,” and asking young Americans to “avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings.”
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in late June said in a release that it predicted 179,106 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by Oct. 1, but added that the numbers “drop to 146,047 … if at least 95 percent of people wear masks in public,” which translate to a reduction of nearly 33,060 in forecasted deaths.
“People need to know that wearing masks can reduce transmission of the virus by as much as 50 percent, and those who refuse are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk,” IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a statement.